DCIM Opportunities

The growth rate of DCIM far outstrips that for the datacenter equipment industries and for the enterprise IT segment as a whole; however, the actual numbers are still small compared with other categories of enterprise software (such as IT service management, ERP, databases or security). Nevertheless, the DCIM market is proving attractive to some big equipment suppliers.”
Rhonda Ascierto
in a 451 Research Report.

In yesterday’s blog, we discussed the similarities and differences between DCIM (Data Centre Infrastructure Management) and OSS. We also discussed the predicted rapid annual growth rate of the DCIM market. Today we look at how OSS vendors could leverage that opportunity.

According to the Australian Government Data Centre Strategy 2010-2025, the Australian Government spends $4.3B on ICT, of which $870M is allocated to data centres. Of this, $170M is spent on power. $70M of this powers the ICT infrastructure, leaving $100M for cooling and other data centre support systems.

The management of power and cooling represents the biggest opportunity for traditional OSS vendors to enhance their offerings to support the Data Centre market (as well as their traditional customers with major equipment room investments).

Virtualisation has had a significant positive impact on the services offered by data centre operators. However, virtualisation also introduces a dynamic challenge for DC ops teams. Dynamic changes in compute usage can quickly change the localised power consumption and heat dissipation within equipment rooms, leading to unanticipated hot spots. Since OSS are responsible for managing the allocation of virtualised resources and have an awareness of spatial positioning, they should also be able to provide predictive information to cooling systems. Even better, they could intelligently balance compute usage to distribute heat loads more efficiently and dynamically.

Extending this functionality, a combined IT system vs heat/power distribution tool could assist in optimal allocation of assets to racks spread across the equipment room floor. Taking this a step further, computer-based decision support tools would be ideal for simulating all the discrete variables to choose an optimal rack position to locate new equipment or optimal server / storage to install new applications on.

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